Urban Prep strike over, reaches 3-year contract agreement with CPS

Chicago News

CHICAGO — A two-day teacher strike at Urban Prep Academies is over after a three-year contract was reached early Wednesday with CPS.

The strike was implemented after contract negotiations broke down last weekend. Urban Prep leaders cited drastically lower pay than their CPS counterparts and a need for more classroom resources and benefits.

The teachers hit the picket lines for two days at the school’s three campuses.

  • Bronzeville Campus: 521 E. 35th St.
  • Englewood Campus: 6201 S. Stewart Ave.
  • West Campus: Roosevelt University 425 S. Wabash Ave.

The students remained in school, with less than a week before summer break, as school leadership and non-teaching staff supervised them.

Teachers returned to their classrooms on Wednesday. Terms of the deal are not available at this time.

Read the full statement from Urban Prep below.

After negotiating throughout the night, early this morning Urban Prep and the CTU reached a
three-year contract agreement. All teachers will return to the classroom today after a two-day
strike, during which students continued to attend school under the supervision of school
administrators and non-teaching staff. Their commendable efforts have ensured that all our
students can finish the school year and that our seniors can graduate on time.

We deeply value all of our teachers’ commitment to Urban Prep students — who are
overwhelmingly Black males from low-income families. We have been especially appreciative of
our teachers during this past year when we faced tremendous challenges due to the COVID-19
pandemic, gun-violence (three Urban Prep students were shot, one fatally), and community
unrest. Yet, Urban Prep has been able to provide hybrid (both in-person and remote) instruction
the entire year, gain charter renewal for our Englewood Campus, achieve a Level 1 rating for
our Bronzeville Campus, develop a unique partnership with Roosevelt University for our West
Campus, provide meals to our neediest families and maintain full-employment for all our
employees. And, perhaps most importantly, we have continued our uninterrupted 12 year
tradition of 100% college admission for Urban Prep graduates.

We are incredibly proud of and thankful to our bargaining team–led by Chief Academic Officer
Dennis Lacewell–for its hard work and relentlessness in negotiating a deal that we believe is in
the best interest of our teachers, and most importantly, the students we serve.
We look forward to finishing this school year out strong and returning to school full-time, in
person in the fall.

– COO Troy Boyd

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